The NASD barred Louisiana broker John Steven Blount Monday from working at any NASD-registered firm for the rest of his life and ordered him to repay $1.5 million, plus interest, for more than $6 million worth of unsuitable annuity sales that brought him $220,000 in commissions.
Blounts dishonest activities targeted for the most part at unsuspecting older investors through early surrender charges, risky investments and other inappropriate choices took place while he was a registered rep for NYLife Securities between 1998 and 2001. He also had support staff falsify records in order to cover his tracks, the NASD charged.
The NASD earlier received 97 customer complaints on Blount, who, ironically, was once NYLifes Broker of the Year (see sister publication Annuity Market News June 2003, September 2003).
Last September, NYLife insisted that Blount had acted on his own and that the companys supervisors could not have detected his inappropriate sales methods. Company spokesman William Werfelman told MME the firm "cooperated fully with the NASD investigation into the activities of former agent J. Steven Blount, whose contracts with NYLife were terminated for cause on Nov. 29, 2001. Through a mediation, we have resolved almost all known complaints relating to Blounts activities."